We all know what changes we want to make in our lives and in ourselves, sometimes we’re actually successful at changing something, and other times we get sidetracked, or just give up because it’s more difficult than we anticipated.
How do we treat ourselves if we don’t succeed in following through?
- Do we speak harshly to ourselves, effectively shredding any remaining strength to pull ourselves back up and try again?
- Are we understanding of ourselves and keep trying?
- Do we recognize the idea may be great but we actually need to work on something else first?
- Etc… which covers the many other possible reactions we may have.
There are many possible ways of reacting to any setbacks we encounter, and we’ve probably reacted differently depending on the situation.
If we choose mentally supportive reactions, we actually help ourselves to become more resilient and capable of eventually succeeding at what we set out to do, while negative reactions can shut us down and cause us to lose the last of our good intentions, because of the, “Why bother if it’s going to fail anyway?” mantra infiltrates and takes over.
For years I reacted in a very negative way towards myself, which made me feel even more like a hopeless cause. It was the self-defeating thought loops that did me in.
Our perceptions of ourselves influence whether we are able to keep persevering
Only after years of feeling terribly and feeling like I was sliding deeper into the pit of despair, was I able to realize that my very negative self-perception was affecting my life in every single way imaginable.
At first, I beat myself up for doing this to myself, but then I realized with a flash that I needed to just try suspending the negative judgment on myself and I needed to learn how to teach myself to like myself, because waiting for someone else to help me wasn’t working, because I was subconsciously rejecting any nice or positive things people said to me.
This rejection of positive things people say to us is a symptom, a huge red flag that we don’t like ourselves!
How did we arrive at this point of disliking, even detesting ourselves?
We learn these thoughts based on how people treated us and what people said to us.
So if we were severely criticized or abused, we internalized the words and actions to the point that we may conclude we deserved the negative which happened to us.
We don’t realize that in those moments the way people treat us is a reflection of what’s going on inside of them!
A healthy and positive person will treat others kindly, and respectfully, whereas, an emotionally unhealthy or damaged person will hurt others, for they share what’s going on inside of themselves.
How we react to others is also a reflection of what’s going on inside of us, and can in turn negatively affect someone’s perception of themselves!
Changing how we see ourselves is a foundational piece to mental health!
Teaching ourselves to feel more positively about ourselves is definitely going to be a work in progress, and the more we do the work, the better we get at doing it!
I always recommend starting slowly, with baby steps, because those are the very things that will be able to fit through the tiny holes in the solid walls we’ve built up inside of ourselves!
Those walls didn’t get built up and reinforced in one go, or probably even in one year, so expecting quick results of ourselves will just end up reinforcing our negative perceptions of ourselves and our abilities to make changes!
Makes sense, right?
When we don’t have positive words of our own, borrowing someone else’s goes a long way!
Speaking positively or encouragingly to ourselves doesn’t often come naturally, we’re usually fluent in speaking negatively to ourselves.
Borrowing other people’s words when we lack our own or don’t have the inner vocabulary is a powerful tool!
Positive affirmations are often seen as weak and trite, because some have become very overused, yet a positive affirmation that resonates deeply within us can become our beacon of hope and our lifeline to learning!
In my books, I not only speak favorably of positive affirmations, but I also use them to support my points and to share as many powerful nuggets to be purloined and used! I share the quotes which resonated with me for they felt like the writers must have felt those emotions to be able to write about them.
Positive affirmations which resonate with you today, may not have the same pull on your heart in a month, and that’s okay!
It doesn’t mean that you can’t make up your mind and stick with something, it may simply mean that you have grown and processed what was bothering you.
I kept a journal with quotes that resonated with me, for depending on what happened on a particular day, I needed different inspirations.
How can we make changes?
If you’re trying to make changes in your life, it’s important to understand how Brain Rewiring works, and how being persistent helps this to happen!
We need to manage our expectations!
Trying to do it all at once or too much at once overloads our brain circuitry, and then it ends up reverting back to the old, firmly entrenched Neural Pathways.
If we proceed slowly to allow our brains and nervous system to normalize the new desired thoughts and behavior, we allow for more Neural Pathways to be laid in place and give them a better chance to grow.
With practice, these new Neural Pathways will get stronger and deeper, while the old ones gradually lose their strength and fade away.
We believe what we tell ourselves the most!
If you feed yourself a steady stream of harsh and negative thoughts, guess what? Your brain and nervous system will believe you!
Likewise, when you start infusing your thoughts with positivity, support, and encouragement, those words will become what your brain will believe!
This piece is important to hold onto!
The transition time is the hardest! It is because, in the beginning, our brains reject the new positivity because it doesn’t follow the accepted negative stream!!
The new positive, supportive thoughts don’t feel normal, because they haven’t been the norm!
HOWEVER, as we practice and continue to feed our spirits nourishing thoughts, our brains gradually shift and start to accept these new truths.
The trick I found is to select the thoughts which resonate within you, even if those affirmations, quotes, or positive thoughts seem very tame compared to others.
Below are three thoughts that sustained me through the difficult times of change and growth. I hope they comfort you too!
I hope you’ll poke around my Archived Posts to find a wonderful trove of supportive and encouraging posts!
I’m sharing more posts that may be helpful for you:
- 10 Steps to Owning Our Happiness
- Setting “Boundaries with consequences”
- Making a change… “How do I take that first step?”
- Affirmation: Today is a new day! I can do this!
- As we practice being gentle and kind with ourselves, we actually help to speed the process of helping our lives become more positive!
- Always believe that wonderful things can happen!
- A healthy outside starts from the inside!
- Brain Rewiring
More good stuff:
Please go to my Archived Posts page to find more wonderful posts to check out!
My books: Now available through Walmart.com!
Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions:
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